Interviews Soaps TV News

Interview: ‘The Bay’ star Kristos Andrews dishes on the newest chapter, directing and more

Kristos Andrews
Kristos Andrews, Actor, Vice President/Producer, LANY Entertainment. Photo by Michael Hiller - © 2013

Popular online drama The Bay returns this week with a new drama-filled chapter involving Bay City’s scandal plagued residents. TVSource Magazine had the opportunity to interview the series’ young star Kristos Andrews (Peter Garrett) about The Bay’s upcoming chapter, the concept behind Confessions of Bay City, his passion in front of and behind the camera and more!

Centering on the town’s elite, The Bay follows the privileged, yet dysfunctional Bay City residents whose lives are riddled with sex, lies and scandals. Socialite Sara Garrett (Days of our Lives star Mary Beth Evans), her youngest son Peter (Kristos Andrews), and those around them face a series of dilemmas that involve rape, blackmail, sordid lovers, and vindictive arch rivals. Whether by choice or necessity, the town’s privileged become entangled with those who confuse obsession for love and power for success. Returning after a short hiatus, Chapter 12 of The Bay premieres Thursday, May 1.

Andrews’ wears many hats, including actor and producer, as well as Vice President of LANY Entertainment. A former XGames Champion and two-time Guinness record holder for skateboarding, there’s a lot about Kristos Andrews you might not know. Hopefully you’ll come away from this interview getting to know more about the rising star.

TVSource Magazine: You’ve had a pretty successful career as a skateboarder. How did you move from skateboarding into acting? Was acting something you always wanted to do?
Kristos Andrews: Thank you. The funny thing is, I don’t really feel like I’ve “moved” from skateboarding. It’ll be a part of me forever. I just don’t do it as my job. I like doing it for the joy of it, that’s the reason I started. Being in a contrived situation where I’d have to get out and skate for a living whether I like it or not wouldn’t have made me happy in life. Skateboarding not that kind of a thing to me. I had the potential to go pro and take it all the way, but it just wasn’t my life mission. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and expand my horizons. Even throughout my skateboarding career, acting and film has always been a dream of mine. With all the movies and content we’re exposed to as kids, it’s a large part of our upbringing and a continuous part of life in general. I can’t imagine someone having watched all of their favorite movies or TV shows, and never even once curiously imagining or dreaming about how it would be to give acting or filmmaking a shot. I’ve never neglected my aspirations, or viewed my dreams as too large to achieve. Doing that would only serve as a handicap in life, at best. From skateboarding, to acting, to producing, and so forth, I’m glad that I’ve been able to muster up the courage to just get into things.

TVSource Magazine: What went into your decision to do a web series? Was there something about the genre that drew you in?
Andrews: I didn’t necessarily choose a web series for the sake of the medium, it was just a good opportunity to get involved in a good show. I met Gregori J. Martin [creator of The Bay] at my mom’s art gallery in Marina del Rey, we clicked. Fast forward, he began coaching me as an actor, showed a lot of faith in me, and we started working together nonstop ever since he cast me on The Bay. I’m glad the show’s been such a success. It’s received plenty of notoriety as an exemplary pioneering web series. Even when the [National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences] opened up a new category for the Emmys, they used The Bay as the reference of what kind of content qualifies for submission.

TVSource Magazine: Have you thought about doing a television soap opera?
Andrews: Yes. I’d be making a mistake if I hadn’t thought about television. Prospect wise, I’ve thought about a lot of things. As far as acting and producing go, there’s a good amount on my plate, and LANY Entertainment’s plate for that matter. We’re currently in development on an upcoming television miniseries, and have recently acquired the rights to the Columbine story which we plan to make the movie of. Looking forward to what’s to come.

TVSource Magazine: Can you give the fans of The Bay any hints about what’s in store for your character in the upcoming chapter?

Kristos Andrews and Lilly Melgar in 'The Bay'.  Photo © LANY Ent 2013
Kristos Andrews and Lilly Melgar in ‘The Bay’. Photo © LANY Ent 2013

Andrews: It’s hard to say much without spoiling storyline [laughs]. The fans will be getting a deeper dosage of my character and Janice (Lilly Melgar, ex-Lily, GH) aka “Jeter” of course. Their romance, taboo sex, forbidden love – the good stuff. As far as the show in general, there’s a cocktail party coming up which brings most of the key players together. Janice and Pete will be there too. That’s all I can really say without spoiling too much.

TVSource Magazine: You directed and produced Confessions of Bay City, featuring Bay characters sharing some of their deepest secrets with a therapist. Those episodes really helped me get to know each character. How did the concept come about?
Andrews: The concept for the confessions was Gregori’s idea. Such a great idea. The confessions amplify our fans’ love for their favorite characters as well as allowing them to develop a deeper understanding for all characters on the show. There’s only so much you can learn about a character from their dialogue in scenes throughout a show, and you never want the dialogue to seem too informational or long winded, it would seem contrived and unreal that way. So, what do we do? We sit the character down in a therapy session and have them release all of their inner thoughts, feelings, and overall perspective. I was given the opportunity to direct the last series of confessions because Gregori trusted I could do a good job at taking them to the next level. We’ve been working together creatively for a while now, and I told him my ideas about giving them a cool new spin and making them extra dynamic with multi angle and a more dramatic feel. Anyway I’m glad I didn’t ruin them! [Laughs]. Our team at LANY is very happy about the positive feedback they’ve been getting.

TVSource Magazine: You’re the youngest producer to be nominated for a Daytime Emmy and have also produced two upcoming films, A Place Called Hollywood and The Southside. What is it about producing that you enjoy?
Andrews: I truly love acting, but I also enjoy being more than strictly in front of the camera. There’s so much more to know, so much more you can do. It’s nice to be able to get involved on the producing side of things. Acting satisfies me on one level, producing satisfies me on another. In fact, I spend more time as a producer on a day to day basis. I’m always in the office working. I love it though. Gregori, along with other industry insiders, have told me I have a good producer’s mindset. Before getting into it, I wasn’t sure if I’d like producing much, or if I’d fair well at it, I just knew it was a good position to be in and it would open my mind. Once I started to really get into it, I genuinely enjoyed it. I’m a big thinker and it gives me great satisfaction to be involved in the big picture of things. It’s very satisfying for me to be a part of the internal thought process or “brain” of a production.

TVSource Magazine: The Southside was written by The Bay creator Gregori J. Martin and is based on the real-life events involving a tragic incident. Can you tell us more about the film?

Kristos Andrews in 2013 biopic 'The Southside'. Photo by Matthew Selkirk - © 2011
Kristos Andrews in 2013 biopic ‘The Southside’. Photo by Matthew Selkirk – © 2011

Andrews: Yes. The movie is a true story which follows the life of Gregori’s cousin, Robert Areizaga, Jr., on his journey to turning his life around for the better, 6 months prior to his tragic death. He was never gang affiliated at all, just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was a hero in the situation he passed away in. Gregori did a great job putting the pieces of the story together and getting me into character. If I were ever a method actor, it was for this movie.

Robert is a native to Yonkers, New York, Puerto Rican family – a “New Yorican” as many refer to. His culture is completely different compared to mine. I grew up as a Southern California skateboarder kid in a Caucasian family. Completely different lifestyle, dialect, way of thinking, everything. I never knew anyone like Robert before. This role was probably the furthest from myself I could get away with playing. This was a terrible family tragedy, and Gregori chose me to fill Robert’s shoes in the movie about him. He said he couldn’t work with just any actor that he’d cold cast or had no prior connection with. He said it had to be me. So I did it. I did it to the very best of my ability.

In preparation for the movie, I lived in the same neighborhood Robert did, same building in fact. Hung at the same places, hung with his family and friends, all great people by the way.  I got the same haircut, wore the same clothes, started speaking like him, and studied as much as I could about him. I got into the same mindset as him and essentially transformed into him to the best of my ability. I took the role very seriously. I felt that I owed it to his family and loved ones, to really get it right. I wanted to truly honor the role. The movie hasn’t been released yet, but those who’ve been to the private screenings have given me great feedback on my performance, and on the movie in general. Industry insiders, the family, anyone who’s seen the movie has been touched and walked away loving it. As far as my performance, the most important opinion to me was the family’s, and them saying I did a good job meant everything.

For more information on The Southside, visit http://newuniversepictures.com/. The Follow Kristos Andrews on Twitter at @KristosAndrews.

About the author

Jenn Bishop

Jenn Bishop is TVSource Magazine's Soap Editor. She's a thirty-something fan girl of soapy television and anything involving Joss Whedon. She began sharing her views on daytime soaps in 2012 with her blog Save Our Suds. A former philosophy major, she loves discussing different view points with fellow TV addicts and aficionados. When not watching television, she enjoys art, live music, exploring the Midwest food scene, and drinking too many lattes. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceJenn.